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The growing trend in digital cameras and personal phones are waterproof or underwater capable models. So which one do you buy? There is more to buying your underwater or waterproof digital camera than choosing “the best one” as ranked by people who don’t need the same requirements as you. So we’ve put together a list of tips on how to choose the best waterproof digital cameras to help you determine what you should be looking for in an underwater camera.

Snorkel and go pro camera on the beach.

Tips on How to Choose the Best Waterproof Digital Cameras

Things to Consider When Buying an Underwater / Waterproof Digital Camera

What is your camera budget?

Obviously you need to figure out how much you are able to spend on your camera before you can start a wish list of features. The more bells and whistles the more expensive the camera is going to be, so really understand what is the purpose of your waterproof camera.

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What is the main use of this camera?

What will you be using the camera for primarily? Obviously a professional photographer or underwater diver will require a more robust camera than someone taking it on a dream beach vacation for a little snorkelling or frolicking on the beach. Choose the right camera for your needs and not the latest, greatest filled with features you will never use.

  • Are you taking professional shots vs. personal holiday beach photos?
  • Will the camera be your primary camera or an additional camera complimenting your DSLR or Mirrorless?
  • Will the camera be primarily used for water sports and other activities that you may need a shockproof camera for?

Will you require Movie Features

If you want to record movies with your camera then you will be interested in the cameras ability to take movies underwater or on land.

  • Does the camera provide HD movies
  • Does the camera record movies underwater movies
  • Consider how technically advanced you want the movie feature on your camera to be. Personal vacation movies or professional movies?

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What depth will you be taking your camera down to?

Buying an underwater camera means that you need to consider the depth limitations. It is not recommended to buy a model that has a limitation under 10 ft. The depth limitation determines how much light the camera needs to take good photographs so even if you are using it for snorkelling you want a camera that can take photos in dark waters. If you tend to go beyond the 10ft mark you will have to look at specific camera models.

Size of the Waterproof Camera

For some the size of the camera plays an important role. Some prefer the slimmest or most compact models while others prefer features over-size.

Consider the underwater camera’s viewing screen

This may take some research. But make sure your camera has a viewing screen that you can see the photos clearly even in sun or underwater. Some may prefer using a viewfinder but many new camera models do not include the viewfinder so make sure your camera’s LCD has a high enough resolution to fit your needs.

How important is the waterproof camera’s zoom functionality?

Some cameras have better zoom features than others. This is a feature that almost everyone uses so ensuring that your camera has sufficient optical zoom levels is a must.

Computer compatibility

There is nothing worse than finding out you can not transfer your photos from you camera to your computer. While most cameras are MAC and PC compatible check that your computer (especially if you have an older one running and older operating system) is compatible with the camera and any software the camera has. If you have a computer (or printer) with a memory card slot make sure the camera’s memory card is compatible with it.

We have put together some tips on how to choose the best waterproof cameras.

What’s included in the box?

Take into consideration what comes in the box. You may have to shell out more money to buy accessories and you should factor that in to your overall budget.

  • Is there a sufficient sized memory card included?
  • Does it come with a camera case?
  • Are cables and batteries included?
  • What additional accessories and batteries would you need and how much do they cost?